The First Day of School That Never Happened

I’m posting a little early (versus the first week of September) because I was planning on having a post built around back to school, but our life had a major turn added in.

I predicted tears for this week long ago, though I was far from knowing what the cause would be. I assumed that I would be a silly mommy mess from dropping my oldest daughter off at kindergarten. I assumed I would be weepy eyed from the realization that she was growing up so fast and we were quickly stepping into the milestone of elementary school. But I was wrong. Instead I find myself desperately trying to pray over each of the kiddos whose faces are popping up in my news feed and not become overwhelmed that we aren’t in that list as well. My tears are from the first day of school that never happened.

How I envisioned our first day looking. This was from last year.

Our last two weeks of summer plans included things like going to a water park, riding bikes with friends who were home from vacation, going and meeting the teacher who would be next in line to help mold the mind of our sweet daughter. They did not include being involved in a car accident. They did not include discovering that the extent of our daughter’s injuries should have killed her or at least left her paralyzed. They did not include calling the children’s hospital home for ten days as we saw our first-born undergo surgery to stabilize her severely injured neck and suffer through excruciating pain as she had to learn to function with a halo brace attached to her by pins in her head while still having a broken neck. Our plans never included the seemingly endless calls to insurance, car rentals, and family—trying desperately to find the ground that got pulled out from under us in that one moment when the car ran a red light, smashed into ours, and caused it (and our lives) to swing around 180 degrees.

We had no idea how critical this ride was or how severe the damage was. But God did and He certainly had His hand on her neck to prevent something even worse from happening. Numbers mean nothing when God is in play.

This was supposed to be a week of “happy, sappy” tears not “trying to survive and find a new norm in caring for my children” tears. I’m supposed to be stressed about what to pack for lunch and getting up on time to make it to school not stressed about more calls to insurance, worries about whether they are going to cover the extensiveness of care that has been (and will continue to be) required, and whether or not we need to involve a lawyer. I’m supposed to be talking to my daughter about what they did in school, not trying to understand what just occurred that caused her entire demeanor to change again and help her walk through the onslaught of emotions that are bigger than any kid should have to process.

Normal is no longer normal for us.

My daughter doesn’t want to look in the mirror because she doesn’t like the look of the brace. She doesn’t want to see her friends because it reminds her how much she cannot do. She doesn’t want to go to school because she feels “weird.” She hates trying on clothes because we can’t find any that really fit around the brace correctly. She doesn’t want to walk down the street because it’s hard and there is a risk that someone will see her.

She’s five. She isn’t supposed to be worried about things like this. She’s supposed to be laughing and twirling to her favorite princess songs, playing dress up with friends, and practicing her newly found bike riding skills.

All I can say to you is: Mommas, hold your babies tight. Let them be embarrassed by the tears you shed as they go off to school. Ignore all of the parenting advice that tells you what to say or not to say. Tell them they are smart. Tell them they are amazing at dance or soccer or whatever. But don’t shy away from telling them that they are beautiful too—because they need to know it and believe it. They need to understand that beauty isn’t just about their appearance or the clothes they wear. It’s about the fact that God made them beautiful and perfect. He formed them and has amazing plans for them–even (especially) when it looks so far from what we thought it would (or should).

To see this smile after everything she had been through was one of the biggest blessings I could ever imagine

To see this smile after everything she had been through was one of the biggest blessings I could ever imagine

I am so grateful that my daughter is still here with us and is able to walk and move–something that the numbers tell us should not be true. I’m so grateful for doctors and nurses and EMTs that took care of us in route and during our stay in the hospital, allowing my daughter the chance she has for success. I am so grateful for a praying community that has covered our Samara and our entire family in an abundance of prayers (and dinners and gifts for my children). And while it is not what we planned, we had our own first day. A first day toward recovery—walking in the belief of complete miraculous healing.


**I did ask Samara’s permission to post our story. I pray that one day she will use this challenge and miracle to tell others about the wonders of God and the provision He offers**

3 Responses to “The First Day of School That Never Happened

  • Alma
    1 year ago

    Oh Becka,
    I wish to tell you how your heart has blessed me. I cried and I rejoiced, I was upset for the “this was not to be happening ” but your words brought wisdom and perspective and love. Your sharing comes from your beautiful heart of a mother and we can see your courage and strength residing on Jesus promises and active word. Much love to you all. In my prayers constantly.

  • Salina
    1 year ago

    Thanks so much Becca for sharing and reminding me of how precious each day is. Your unwavering faith and power to see positive in all situations is empowering. I will continue to pray for you and your family. Know that you guys are loved and admired for who you are and how God uses you to impact others.

  • Deb Wagner
    1 year ago

    Beautifully said. Your attitude toward this horrible event will set the stage toward her recovery. But remember you are not alone on this roller coaster of emmotions. It is ok to cry, scream, and praise God that His angels were there, this journey will harden your knees, but there is a community of prayer warriors with you. And that is the only way to make it.